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Help with a split curl on flat bar


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12 minutes ago, Latticino said:

That's when you switch to using a drill...  You had plenty of width and didn't need to punch. 

If you do punch there is certainly no need to go above yellow/orange heat for such a thin stock. 

I don’t have a drill press yet and the last time I tried doing it with a hand drill, the bit walked around on me. The hole wound up being off center of the bar just enough to be noticeable. I marked the hole location with a deep center punch but it still decided to go walkabout on me. 

The area I was punching never got above that heat. The side that burned was deeper in the fire and got hotter than I anticipated it would before the center of the bar got to a workable heat. 

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Don't run your drill so fast and it'll be easier to control. Use a wider center punch even if you have to grind your own. You do pick up: center punches, chisels at yard/garage/etc. sales don't you? I always pick them up for impact tool stock. Keep your eye open for a little disk grinder if you don't have one already.

Why did you stand it on edge in the fire? It wouldn't fit laying down? Do we have to explain how ESY it is to reconfigure a JABOD . . . AGAIN? 

You can remove the fire back bricks, use a broom stick size dowel standing vertically against the tuyere pipe to make your "fire pot" and a handful of "corn kernel" size charcoal to build the fire. This will give you a blow torch to heat the center of your strap. Removing the fire back will let you lay it down any direction you wish.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I’ll give the slower speed a try on the drill. I was taught fast and light for drilling metal so that’s what I did. 
 

Yes I stood it up on edge because I couldn’t get the center part hot without risking one of my finials otherwise. I know how easy it is to reconfigure the JABOD. I’ve done it a dozen times trying to get it to work right.

Part of it was not wanting to fiddle with the JABOD and have to spend the next week trying to get it to act right in a new configuration. Part of it was that it was late, I had the fire going good, and I just wanted to get it done. The rest was being in a rush trying to make and engrave three crosses that I’ve never done before by Sunday. I should have stopped when I realized what I was doing wasn’t working right. I didn’t and payed the price for it. 
 

I am going to cut the bricks of the fire back down flush with the hearth. It was fine for smaller projects but it’s causing me a lot of frustration with this one. 

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1 hour ago, Bantou said:

I was taught fast and light for drilling metal

Pass anything you learned from this person by  us before trying it. That is as opposite of how you drill most metals, ESPECIALLY steel as you can get without trying. What you see on forged in fire is typically at least one step pully too high an RPM and you see so many broken scales because the guy is feeding the bit too hard. There are times when fast and light is the right thing to do with metal but it's a specific circumstance I won't go into here, it'll just confuse you.

Low RPM moderate pressure, listen for the drill motor to work but not bog down. 

Another reason for a bit to wander is dull or it's unevenly sharpened. 

This is all pretty normal for the learning curve. If you have problems run them past us, we'll help you out. If I don't know or what I think I know is wrong or there's a better way someone will jump in and we ALL win. 

The more you learn about working metal the more you learn you don't know.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Took at stab at adapting this idea to a "pronghorn" finial, more or less following the suggestions made in this post.  Some room for improvement, but it'll work!

 

IMG_1671[1].JPG

IMG_1664[1].JPG

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GMB, I like it.  A good representation but if I may make a suggestion:  A little sharper tips and then wire brush or file the tips to give a hint of the "ivory" on the horns of a big pronghorn buck.  The next 1, 2, or 20 will go better and look more finished.

GNM

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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This thread brings to mind one of the things I found most distressing when I was first starting. Math is required for blacksmithing. 
 

Which brings to mind a joke my Organic Chem professor told me. Calculus saves lives. It keeps the idiots out of medical school. 

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No matter how you drill, lubrication is usually helpful.

Motor oil is the stuff used in a car engine to keep the parts from cutting into each other.  Use a good cutting fluid designed to help the drill bit bite into metal, keep the cutting surface of the drill cool, and help flush out the cuttings.

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Fortunately or unfortunately math is required for most things in life or, at least, it makes many things easier.  It is easier to calculate how much bar will be needed to forge a ball finial than it is to guess and get something to large or too small.  Most blacksmithing only requires some basic plane and/or solid geometry and any business venture needs some basic bookkeeping.

At least we have calculators now instead of having to do everything by hand.  I'm not sure that I could extract a square root by hand any more.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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13 hours ago, Frosty said:

. You do pick up: center punches, chisels at yard/garage/etc. sales don't you?

I've been looking for a center punch locally for some time. No luck over the last couple yrs at yard sales and flea markets. The stores around me seem to only have nail sets and pin punches.  I finally made one out of an orphaned Allen wrench. It's probably better than one I'd have bought. 

Pnut

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How about engine valves?  Use case: strength & wear resistance in a hot environment.   I've been using them for punches lately.  If you leave the flared top on; a rounding hammer helps in the striking.

Regrinding broken pin punches into center punches works too---if they were a good brand of punch!

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22 hours ago, Bantou said:

I was taught fast and light for drilling metal

For precision drilling, I center punch, then drill a pilot hole, sometimes as small as 1/16th. That makes drilling to size much easier and the drill bit won't wander. When I have to heat a piece that has small sections like finials, I watch carefully and when the small section gets too hot, I dip it in the slack tub to cool just that section then continue heating the larger section. Kinda hard to describe that.

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I considered that but was worried about the bit grabbing and snapping. Now that I know it works, I’ll give it a go next time. 

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If I need to make a tricky hole say precise location or in a leaf spring I use my Bowman "split point" bits. The split point bit doesn't wander if you're even a little careful. The bad side is you can't sharpen them yourself unless you have the right equipment. 

See the below link. There are a lot of brands mentioned but it's not a commercial site. The examples I wish to show are nicely shown and compared to regular twist drill bits.

Frosty The Lucky.

https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrU8NV505Vgt38AmaZXNyoA;_ylu=Y29sbwNncTEEcG9zAzMEdnRpZAMEc2VjA3Nj?p=split+point+vs+standard+steel+drill+bits&fr=crmas

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One problem one can run into when drilling metal with too little pressure and too fast rotation is work hardening.  I have on occasion been drilling by hand or with a drill press, gotten lazy and let up on the pressure.  I have had mild steel actually work harden on me, where it was extremely difficult to drill whereas if I had done it properly, the mild steel would have drilled like putty (so to speak...).  There is a myriad of information on the entrynet about proper pressure and RPM's when drilling metal...might be worth taking some time to do some research.

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This is a tip you can use anytime you're drilling holes in something hard enough to stop the bit. Do NOT just pull the bit out, it will roll or chip the edge and dull the bit. Turn the motor off and turn the bit backwards to free it. It's jammed because the edges cut but the chip didn't release so it's wedged UNDER a piece of steel by it's thinnest and weakest part. IF you just pull it straight out the cutting edge will be damaged. 

Make sense? 

Arkie is absolutely right, NEVER let the bit drag, ESPECIALLY drilling a copper alloy, those are a different world to drill. Let us know if you're going to try drilling a copper alloy.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Without a drill press, if the bit you choose for the pilot hole is too small it will snap more often than not. Probably not a problem with thinner stuff, but with thicker stuff it is. If the bit is in the hole and you shift the drill even just a little bit out of line, it will break off in the hole. This is the reason many drill sets you see in someone’s shop are missing a few of the smaller sizes. 
 

It isn’t as much of a problem with a drill press. You can usually find used ones for very little money. Don’t worry if they are old and beat up. Mine is a beater from China that my Dad gave to me one day when he was in a very rare mood. I’ve been using it for three or for years now. 

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One thing to watch out for when buying an inexpensive or used drill press is to make sure that the spindle holding the bit is exactly 90 degrees to the table.  Often there is no way to adjust the angle of the table.  Even a degree or 2 off is not a good thing.  I discovered that my table was off by about a degree and half after I had had it for some time.  I had to file the back of the mounting of the table to the mast carefully to correct it.  Not a job I wish to repeat.

The most recent edition of "Forge Facts", the publication of Rocky Mountain Smiths had a technique to check for this alignment.  You make a double L shaped piece (sort of Z shaped but with the angles at 90 degrees), put one end into chuck, adjust the table so that it is just touching the other end of your piece.  Then, rotate the chuck and the piece should describe a circle on the table if it is aligned at 90 degrees.  If it doesn't and there is no way to adjust the orientation of the table, walk away.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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17 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Regrinding broken pin punches into center punches works too---if they were a good brand of punch!

The ones I could find locally were at Walmart and TSC so definitely of dubious quality. Grinding one to make a center punch definitely crossed my mind but I didn't want to buy a punch to modify. The Allen wrench that I turned into a punch is holding up pretty well. I kept it cool while grinding and didn't re heat treat it. Just ground the working end and chamfered the struck end. 

I had to return a cheap drill press not too long ago because the quill and spindle were misaligned and there was no way to adjust it. The second one was okay though. 

Pnut

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11 hours ago, arkie said:

One problem one can run into when drilling metal with too little pressure and too fast rotation is work hardening. 

There is a myriad of information on the entrynet about proper pressure and RPM's when drilling metal...might be worth taking some time to do some research.

I think I ran into that until I remember you have to use lube while drilling metal. The bit definitely cut better and faster after a couple squirts of WD-40. 
 

I think I’m going to have to do some research. I thought I knew how to drill metal so I didn’t bother looking it up. 
 

9 hours ago, DHarris said:

It isn’t as much of a problem with a drill press. You can usually find used ones for very little money. Don’t worry if they are old and beat up. Mine is a beater from China that my Dad gave to me one day when he was in a very rare mood. I’ve been using it for three or for years now. 

I’ve been keeping an eye out, but people in my area seem to think that “antique” equipment is worth 3/4 the price of new. I ran into the same problem with bench and angle grinders. 

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My drill press is "old", but not old enough to be "vintage" and certainly not old enough to be "antique". It was, however, free.

On 5/6/2021 at 11:52 PM, DHarris said:

Which brings to mind a joke my Organic Chem professor told me. Calculus saves lives. It keeps the idiots out of medical school. 

My calculus professor had a good one, too: "Logic is the art of going wrong with confidence."

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These aren’t old enough to be antique either. People think a little rust and dirt make it “antique” or “vintage” and want a premium for it. Trying to get them to understand that their beat up 20 year old piece of equipment isn’t worth the $75 they want for it is an exercise in futility. 

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1 hour ago, Bantou said:

people in my area seem to think that “antique” equipment is worth 3/4 the price of new

You're lucky. Around here for "antiques" they want more than the cost of new equipment. 

Pnut

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It boggles my mind. Why would I pay you half or more the new cost for your clapped out drill press that sat in the shed uncared for, for years? Who know what kind of work I’m going to have to put into it, just to get it functional again. 

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